Sometimes without the Petshopboys/
Sometimes with the Petshopboys
by blaknoisewhitesoul

Writers - blaknoisewhitesoul / blaknoisewhitesoul/Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2005
Original album - (none)
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - single

This is a very special case—two closely related tracks sharing a single entry here—that requires detailed explanation.

In mid-2005 the highly experimental Scottish band blaknoisewhitesoul (yes, written with no capital letters) reportedly approached the Pet Shop Boys with what was, in essence, their cover version of "West End Girls." Because they had changed the music, using a different melody altogether, blaknoisewhitesoul had retitled it "Sometimes with the Pet Shop Boys" and expected a 50/50 co-writing credit and split of the royalties. The Pet Shop Boys agreed to a full cover version, but not to the "co-write." This was unacceptable to blaknoisewhitesoul, and no agreement could be reached between the two camps. So blaknoisewhitesoul removed the "West End Girls" lyrics from the track, retitled it "Sometimes without the Petshopboys," and released it in October 2005 as a double A-side single with "Dirty Darkness"—generating additional notoriety for themselves in the process by publicizing their side of the story.

In short, "Sometimes without the Petshopboys" is not co-written by Chris and Neil. For quite some time, however, there were rumors that the original version was available "underground." And now the original "Sometimes with the Petshopboys" has surfaced on completely legtimate online music services, such as Amazon and Spotify. (Please note that the songwriting credit I've provided above for this track is tentative and unofficial.)

I can't make out much of the lyrics—what lyrics there are—of "Sometimes without the Petshopboys," and I haven't been able to find any transcript of them, so I really have no idea what this song is about and cannot comment further on it at this time. That's assuming it's "about" anything. It is highly experimental, after all. "Sometimes with the Petshopboys," on the other hand, does indeed use the "West End Girls" lyrics.

Incidentally, if you don't side with the Boys in this affair, consider the case of their remake of "Go West." Neil and Chris wrote new music and lyrics for the middle part of the song, but didn't demand or receive any songwriting royalties for doing so.

List cross-references